In this fantasy adventure film set in the late 19th century, Dr. Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) is a mysterious crusader against the forces of evil around the world. Commissioned by a secret order of the Catholic church, Van Helsing’s latest assignment is to aid a family in Transylvania, which has nearly failed in their vow to put an end to the evil Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh). The only remaining member of the family, Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale), must either see Dracula finished off in her lifetime or risk her family’s damnation. But the Count, who seems invincible to every attack, clearly has a more diabolical plan in mind. Inspired by the work of Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula prepares an evil plot to eliminate his rivals and extend his reign of terror around the world. Now Anna, Van Helsing and Carl (David Wenham), the brainy friar, must stop him before his evil plans succeed.
Apart from Hollywood’s typical implausible action sequences, Van Helsing actually tells a decent story of good against evil. Unfortunately, it is couched in superstitions that see mankind, and particularly the righteous crusaders of the Roman Catholic church, as the last line of defense against evil. Thus Van Helsing presents a caricature of the Catholic church, which emphasizes its bad theology and religious superstitions while eliminating the Savior. With objectionable language and violence added in, Van Helsing cannot be viewed as family-friendly.